Author’s Thesis Henry II and his sons lacked the vision to create a true territorial empire versus a collection of disparate territories.
Supporting Arguments Angevin Empire lacked a central core. Within Empire the king’s power was variable. The concept of a modern empire was an anachronism in the 12 th and 13 th centuries. Henry II’s succession plans (“Parage”) prove that he never meant the empire to be unified or centrally controlled. As vassals of Phillip II, Henry’s heirs never had ability to unify territories into an empire.
Critique of Ralph V. Turner Lack of vision or lack of opportunity. Richard’s refusal to take an oath of fealty to Henry the Young King. Henry II’s belated backing of John’s inheritance. Underestimates Role of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Turner notes two historians point of view of possible “sea-borne empire.”
Turner Quotes “Richard the Lionheart and his brother King John, both concentrated their energies and resources on preserving this nameless empire…” “Not only Henry II but the entire Plantagenet line believed that the Angevin ‘empire’ was worth preserving as a family enterprise possessing some measure of political cohesion.”
Course Relevance Establishing original intent. Distinguishing reality of ends from possible means. Conflicting roles of authority yield resistance. Emergence of cultures under unifying literature and myths leads to cultural clashes.
And Now….. “Rare Archival Footage” (Dr. Perron)